Labour Conference 2008 – Leader’s Speech
The key element of any Labour Party National Conference is, of course, the Party Leader’s speech. This will be Eamon Gilmore’s first address to a Party Conference that’s being shown live on television, so he’ll be feeling the heat right now. Saw him half an hour ago on his way to dinner, though, and he was in flying form.
With the buzz mounting in the hall, and the temperature rising (literally) in the hall, delegates are cramming in for the last few seats already. Gilmore’s speech doesn’t start for another hour, but with seats at a premium, everyone’s trying to get themselves into the hall before it fills up. For what I think is the first time ever, we’ve had to supply a video relay room due to high demand for places. Those who can’t get in to the hall will be able to watch on a big screen downstairs. Already there are only a few seats left.
In the style of American conventions, signs have been handed out to delegates to hold up during the speech – mainly for TV viewing, of course. While they sometimes seem a bit silly on the ground in the conference hall, where you don’t get a proper view of them, they look brilliant on TV, and are a great way of getting a message out to viewers at home. TV news coverage is more or less obliged to show a crowd shot, so why not use it to convey a message.
I haven’t seen GIlmore’s speech yet, but those who have tell me it’s going to be great. I’ll be twittering and Jaikuing the highlights on Labour’s channels live, and you can also watch the whole thing on RTÉ1 from 20:30 or on our live stream from 19:30 (see below).